San Francisco, California–Google Panda and Yahoo have crossed digital paths; as a result, the tech company which once dominated search is shuttering several services, two of which are reeling from negative algorithmic impact. Panda 4.0 rolled-out in May, and is now causing Yahoo to retire its Voices site, as well as its Contributor network.
Yahoo announced that the services will be shut down by “the end of August” but the tech company does not provide an exact date. Panda made its debut in February 2011, specifically targeting low quality content, typically found on link and content farms; and, to find and penalize duplicate content publishers.
However, Yahoo maintains in its blog the move is to prioritize its focus on more engaged sites and to make room for new kinds of innovation. The company is also retiring its People Search and Xobni, a service acquired by the internet company in July 2013. Another online property on the chopping block is Yahoo Shine, a women’s health and living blog.
Google Panda and Yahoo Content Penalties
This isn’t the first encounter between the algorithm and Yahoo properties. The company launched Voices in 2010, replacing Associated Content, a property purchased by Yahoo that same year. At that time, approximately 10,000 new articles were being written and published per week.
The release of Panda came soon after, and Yahoo confirmed at the 2011 SMX West conference, two-thirds of its content was adversely impacted by the algorithm. In response, the publishing platform deleted about 75,000 articles, transferring the remaining material to Voices.
Low Quality Content Targeted
After the initial release of Panda in 2011, mass-publishing sites took a huge hit. Demand Media, which owns the property, eHow, saw a 20 percent drop in traffic coming from Google, according to a study published by New Scientist in the same year.
This latest development clearly demonstrates that content farms are a dead-end and the mass-publishing of low quality articles written by users is over. With the release of Hummingbird, it’s now only acceptable to write high quality articles which deliver informative material and are not self-promotional.